Part I: concepts of leadership and influence.
The objective of this study is to critically examine leadership style, theories and methods and understated how to apply them in real life situation in other to make leadership and management more distortional, autocratic, free style democratic or combination of one or two that is intermediate with partial characteristics imported from the original style. Leadership is all about managing people but it entails management by action that is being in front while the rest follow. It is synonymous to being a forerunner. (Hardy Jackson)The way a leader conducts himself in the workplace has a great impact on those who he leads will perceive their duties and assignments and what values they attach to these duties. This will in turn affect the output and the profitability of the organization. These leaders have the success or failure of their organizations in their hands.
I am going to focus my study on a famous leader and administrator; a university vice-chancellor, Professor Olive of a one of the renown universities in Kenya. She is the choicest person because of the influence she has had on people both locally and internationally. (Hardy Jackson)
Holding to the fact that management is getting things done by the people for the people and through the people. It is therefore very important that managers/leaders in any capacity should exhibit optimum acquaintance with interpersonal skills. The influence tactics that has been applied by the leader in context is that of service delivery. She has adhered to the philosophy of, “obedience to God and service to humanity”. Her approach to contemporary issues and especially education which is her field of specialization, giving freedom to all and involving all in decision making is a tactic that she has successfully employed. She does not apply resource power through the application of the money entrusted in her hands because his will amount to abuse of the office.
The power base she has used in the leadership to influence those under her in the organization structure and those in the corporate world is the expert power and responsibility power all which are attached to the office she holds.
In the influence profile life, some character traits have to be developed very well than others. A person, who wants to be influential like the vice-chancellor in my case, should be sociable, careful, reserved and outgoing. The trait developed best in my case is sociability. The leader is sociable and interacts with almost everybody she comes across.
Behavioral styles of leadership are also very vital in trying to influence others. Response to anger and annoyance, tolerance to mistakes and willingness to correct and advice others are al well developed by my leader in this episode. My leader has not applied the forces of dictatorship, has therefore exhibit dictatorial traits.
A study such as this will show or create a picture in the minds of the leader on what they should do or not do in order to influence his subjects positively. It is incredible to note that leaders can also influence their subjects negatively. This is if they apply punitive rules, the sense of leader being inconsiderate and where he chooses to make decisions alone even those which affect the whole organization. (Hardy Jackson)
The leader I have chosen has so far has been able to beat flaws and weaknesses that holders of these offices face. It is not easy to achieve easily what leaders achieve without the application of the unique characteristics.
The major strength of my leader is her determination to achieve the set goals and objectives as set by the long term and short term visions. Also her efforts towards offering best service to humanity, this is exhibited in the projects she has in her term I office been able to successfully launce and execute. However, just as any other normal human being, she is not immune to the common weaknesses and errors either in doctrine or principle. This leader id a legalist and this implies the she strictly follows rules and follows even those which are detrimental to the organization’s achievements. The other weakness is her extravagance spending even on small projects which the organization can do without.
The following are the recommendations on the issue I have raised concerning leadership and influence; leadership is “serverntism”, a leader is a servant and therefore he/she should put the interests of the people and the organization first before his own interests. He should not quest to serve but to be served. Also, it is worth to state here that power can come out of anything; office, resource, expert/knowledge et cetera. The source of power should be legitimate and from an acceptable source. The power should not be used to trample the interests of the subjects underfoot. Therefore influence should not necessarily emanate from power and should be a process developed gradually and propagated for the better being of the organization. (Hardy Jackson)
The action plan I have for this year following this study I have conducted a 3 year plan that I have laid down. I want to develop my expert and professional knowledge so that by the end of the period, I shall have climbed the expert ladder. This can only be achieve through intensive study and research seasoned with contribution in my professional field. I want to be “a king” in my area of specialization. Creativity and innovation is very important in this expert power development.
I justify my recommendations owing to the fact that power cannot be bought or sold. It is acquired through what a person does and his or her position as it regards the operations of the organization. A person is powerful if his/her absence will deter normal running or will be detrimental.
I want to lastly state here that people become good leaders if they develop a positive attitude towards those they serve. They should be sociable, understanding and involve all the others in decision making. They should not be dictatorial and should put the affairs and interests of others and the organization first then self should come second.
Finally concerning leadership an influence in relation to my own development, this study will enable me to learn and take up the strengths of my role models who are good leaders and know my weaknesses and how to overcome them
Part II: motivation of job performance;
Motivation as it regards the work environment can be defined as the external human effort applied to make others feel appreciated and hence boost their morale and positive attitude towards their jobs or assignments. Motivation makes people more effective and efficient as it directly affects their input into the organization.
The matters concerning motivation are very important to study because it enables managers and those in positions of management to clearly understand how people can be motivated. It also narrow down the ambiguity blanketed in group behavior and helps the pinpoint individual preferences of each stakeholder. Even the leaders themselves also need to be motivated and thus they need to carefully analyze the impact of every action they take in their lines of duty. Motivation will also enable the work at a glance to determine what is best for them as a motivational object. Therefore the memo about motivation cannot be dispensed and done away with as it cut across all the organizational activities. (Bransford, John M. et al.)
If we consider a situation of two employees A and B, A is hard working whereas B is a lazy or so to say a demotivated person. All of them work in the same organization but different departments but at the same level in the organizational structural design. I am going to consider these two persons and analyze their behavior in the work place in relation to motivation and morale boosting. The different personalities and preferences and attitudes towards their tasks are going to be the foundation of the study.
What motivates them?
Let me state her that people are different and they have never been the same although they may exhibit similarities which may lead to a conclusion that they are the same. Therefore they attach different values and attitudes towards work and life in general. These people are motivated by different factors in the work place. In the example above, employee A is motivated by financial rewards, character B is not at all moved and encouraged to input more by mere financial or material rewards; he needs something more than just money. This implies that one person is motivated by rewards in terms money whereas the other is motivated by the nature of the tasks he does. Employees B should therefore be carefully studied in order to determine the actual motivational factors, it can be job design, job enrichment, power and control over his job or control over others et cetera. It is there prudent to conclude that sometimes people are motivated by power, others by money, others by the nature of tasks that are assigned to the, others by titles attached to their office and yet others by the size of their office et cetera. What motivates a person will depend on what importance he attaches to that factor. (Hardy Jackson)
Despite the fact that people are motivated by different factors, it goes without saying that individuals can also be demotivated. What motivates a person can be a demotivational factor to another and a demotivator on the other hand may happen to be another’s’ favorite motivator. This is too showing that people are quite different and in every aspect of life, they will exhibit their preferences through the way they relate other and what they do. Employee A in my example is a typical person who generally dislikes work and shins away from responsibilities especially those assigned without an proportionate financial reward attached to them. Employee B on the other hand is one who prefers responsibilities and power, he dislikes being put at the background in decision making and exclusion from leadership position, that is why financial rewards are mot a major attraction and motivation to him. In such a case factors like demotion, transfer to ‘bad’ places of work for example where social amenities are lacking, unfavorable job rotations and trimming or power and responsibilities are the major demotivators of employee B. employee A on the other hand is demotivated by withdrawal of finance or material related compensation proportionate to his job/input like overtime pay, overtime work or extended hour without proportionate compensation. (Hardy Jackson)People are also generally de-motivated if their contributions to the organization is not recognized even when they performance is recommendable. Such a behavior of reservation should be avoided by managers and they should learn to appreciate the efforts of others in order to keep them motivated to even work harder.
The study of motivation, if it is to be in-depth and details will entail asking or using the following questionnaire/questions in order to answer one or two things about employees;
i. What are the character traits of the individual? Motivation may be group motivation or individual but it is incredible to understand the unique distinctive characteristics of each group member.
ii. What are the duties and responsibilities assigned to each of the individuals?
iii. What is the current position of the individual in the organizational design?
iv. What is the current labor compensation and what views does the individual hold concerning his rewards?
v. How will he feel if his rewards are increased?
vi. What will make them feel more appreciated and recognized?
vii. What will it cost it cost the organization of a certain motivation policy is implemented?
These and other fundamental questions should be raised and the responses critically analyzed in order to determine the best course of action to take as it regard motivation. (Bransford, John M. et al.)
The result of the above study reveals that people are different and prefer different thing in life and they attach different values to work situations. All these affect the way they reason, that way they work and the way they will appreciate motivation. The sturdy therefore even the individuals who want to be motivated to know what is best for them as a basis of boosting their morale and input to the organization.
Motivation can be applied using any of the following or more theories;
a. Abraham Maslow’s theory; it talks about the ranking of human needs from basic to self actualization. The needs need to be satisfied systematically and fulfillment of one arouses the urge for another. Thus people can be motivated through the satisfaction of these hierarchical needs. For example A needs basic requirements to be fulfilled whereas B needs high needs like self actualization.
b. Theory X; it holds that human beings generally dislike work and the only thing or factor that can motivate them is financial rewards. If this theory is considered, then it will apply to A in my case and money will be used as a basis of any motivation
c. theory Y; holds that human beings are creatures who like working, they like responsibilities and they will exercise control over what they are given to do, money is also not the only motivator. This theory is applicable to employee B.
d. Hertzberg theory of motivation can also be used to motivate the two persons. This can be achieved by redesigning their tasks and reviewing the work related variables.
e. The employee whose most of the basic needs have been satisfied, that is B, will no longer quest for financial rewards, rather he needs his job to be redesigned so the it is either enriched, he is rotated, the job is enlarged or other issue are dobbed into his line of duty. This will make him feel motivated and will perform his duties more effectively and efficiently. ( Bransford, John M. et al.)
Finally I would encourage decision makers to make e regular study of motivation related issues so that they can make prudent and rational decisions concerning the motivation of their employees, as Kreithner has stated in his book “Management”, an understanding of the individual traits is paramount in the determination of what motivates or de-motivates employees.
1. Bransford, John M. et al. How People are Motivated in the Organization. 3rd ed. National Academy Press. New York: 1999.
2. Hall, David E, M.D. Living with Learning in the Organization. A student’s Guide, 2000.
3. Thomas Leahny and Harris J. Management. Prentice Hall. London: 2004.
4. Hardy Jackson. Practical motivation in the Contemporary Organization. Oxford University Press, London: 2005.
5. Thesis by Manzur Fala, Management and Motivation- How they sail together. Digibooks Collections, 2007 Premium.